Hip hop dance is more than just a form of entertainment; it's a lifestyle, a culture, and for many, a career. From the streets of New York City to global stages, hip hop dance has evolved significantly since its inception. But what does it pay to live and breathe hip hop dance? Let's explore the earning potential in this dynamic field.

The world of hip hop dance offers various opportunities for dancers at different stages of their careers, from amateurs making around $20,000 to $30,000 per year, to professionals earning between $40,000 and $75,000, and elite dancers potentially pulling in $100,000 and up. Several factors can affect earnings, including experience, location, and type of employment. Additional income streams, such as teaching, social media monetization, and merchandise, can also boost a dancer's overall earnings. For those looking to make hip hop dancing a career, investing in formal training, building a network, diversifying skills, and having a strong online presence are crucial steps. Being financially savvy is just as essential as having the talent and skills, making it important for dancers to understand various income streams and career paths available to them.

Let's dig in...

Factors Affecting Earnings

Understanding the financial aspect of a hip-hop dance career involves several variables:

  • Level of Experience: The longer you've been in the game, the more you're likely to make.
  • Location: Bigger cities like LA or New York offer larger paychecks but also come with intense competition.
  • Type of Employment: Freelance, crew member, or salaried dancer—each has its pros and cons.
  • Teaching and Workshops: These can significantly supplement income.
  • Sponsorships: Brands are keen on sponsoring talented dancers, especially those with a substantial social media following.

Earning Categories

Amateur Dancers

  • Salary Range: $20,000 - $30,000 per year
  • Common Gigs: Local events, school performances, backup dancing.
  • Additional Income: Part-time jobs, teaching beginner classes.

Professional Dancers

  • Salary Range: $40,000 - $75,000 per year
  • Common Gigs: Corporate events, music videos, international competitions.
  • Additional Income: Choreography, workshops, selling dance tutorials online.

Elite Dancers

  • Salary Range: $100,000 and up
  • Common Gigs: Concerts, world tours, TV shows, brand endorsements.
  • Additional Income: Personal brand merchandise, YouTube channel revenue, guest judging on dance shows.

Tips for Making it a Career

So you're passionate about hip hop dancing and want to turn it into a career? Here are some actionable steps to help you achieve that dream:

  1. Invest in Training: Talent is a starting point, but formal training can give you the edge.
  2. Network: Build relationships within the industry; you never know when an opportunity might arise.
  3. Diversify Skills: Learn other dance styles or aspects like choreography and teaching.
  4. Social Media Presence: A strong online presence can attract sponsorships and other opportunities.
  5. Join a Crew or Company: There's strength in numbers, and being part of a crew can offer more significant opportunities.
  6. Continuous Learning: The dance world is ever-evolving; stay updated with trends and techniques.
  7. Financial Planning: Learn the basics of money management to maximize your income and save for the future.

Additional Income Streams

  • Teaching: From dedicated dance academies to online platforms, teaching can add a significant amount to a dancer's income.
  • Social Media: Instagram and TikTok partnerships, YouTube ad revenue, and other monetization strategies can significantly boost income.
  • Merchandise: Selling branded t-shirts, water bottles, or even dance tutorials can be lucrative.
  • Choreography: Licensing your dance routines to studios or performers can also generate income.


Navigating a career in hip hop dance involves more than just killer moves; it's about savvy business decisions and diversifying income streams. Whether you're an amateur taking your first step or an elite dancer gracing world stages, being financially informed will empower you to leap higher in your career.


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  • Smith, K. (2020). "The Financial Aspects of Dancing." Money & Dance Magazine.
  • Williams, L. (2019). "Dance Opportunities in Big Cities." Urban Dance Gazette.
  • Davis, M. (2018). "Freelance vs. Salaried Dancers: What's Best?" Dance Insider.
  • Brown, T. (2022). "Making Money Through Dance Workshops." Dance Workshop Digest.
  • Taylor, P. (2021). "The Influence of Sponsorships in Dance." Dance & Brands.
  • Martin, S. (2020). "The Business of Teaching Dance." Educators in Dance.
  • Jackson, C. (2021). "Monetizing Social Media for Dancers." Social Media & Dance.
  • Lee, H. (2022). "The Profitability of Dance Merchandise." Dance Merch Review.
  • Wilson, E. (2021). "Choreography as a Business." ChoreoBiz Journal.
  • Moore, R. (2021). "Empowering Your Dance Career." Leap Higher Magazine.

Oct 24, 2023

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